Book Review

‘Friday Mornings At Nine’ by Marilyn Brant

STORY: Every woman remembers her firsts: Her first kiss. Her first lover. And her first time contemplating an affair…

Each Friday morning at the Indigo Moon Café, Jennifer, Bridget and Tamara meet to swap stories about marriage, kids and work. But one day, spurred by recent e-mails from her college ex, Jennifer poses questions they’ve never faced before. What if they all married the wrong man? What if they’re living the wrong life? And what would happen if, just once, they gave in to temptation…

Soon each woman is second-guessing the choices she’s made–and the ones she can unmake–as she becomes aware of new opportunities around every corner, from attentive colleagues and sexy neighbors to flirtatious past lovers. And as fantasies blur with real life, Jennifer, Bridget and Tamara begin to realize how little they know about each other, their marriages and themselves, and how much there is to gain–and lose–when you step outside the rules.

REVIEW: Jennifer is married to Michael, mother to twin girls, and works as freelance web designer.

Bridget is married to Graham, mother of three and had just recently started work again.

Tamara, married to Jon, has one son and is stay-at-home mom.

These three middle-aged women meet each Friday at the Indigo Moon Cafe, to share their lives with each other.

Tamara’s husband is a lawyer who’s never home. Keeping company with her neighbor, a very handsome writer seems a thing to do. As their only son is off to college, she’s left all alone. Lonely and bored she makes her home and especially her garden a sanctuary of sorts.

When Jennifer receives an unexpected message from her ex-boyfriend arrives, she has a choice to make. See him with telling her hubby, or not see him and not tell her hubby?!

Bridget gets a job at Dr. Luke’s dental office, and both are happy to discover that they share their love for cooking…

The suspense of this tale is in trying to figure out which one of these women will succumb to infidelity. To be honest, I didn’t see it coming, and hope you won’t either.

Marilyn Brant went out on a limb with this story, calling it romance, and while some will no doubt not see it as such, once you get into the story, vest yourself in these complicated, sometimes frivolous yet very human characters, you’ll see the romance of it. What drew me to this story at first was the subject matter, but what grabbed me and held me captive was the humanity of the story.

You’ll appreciate this author’s serious thought and consideration to this topic which I’m sure wasn’t an easy thing to do when writing romance. She went all out in making sure we, the readers, would have the full story and in the end we were left to accept the decisions of these women without any prejudices and judgments. Now, that I call some crafty writing!

This was one book I wasn’t looking forward to reading and after I was done with it, I had a hard time penning a review of it. This story needed digesting and coming to terms with. Stories of these three women were just hitting too close to home. I identified with all three of them. I saw bits and pieces of myself in them, and like them, had at one time or another come with that same dilemma, so in the end I did…well, this is not about me, is it?

If you like well written contemporary stories, with lots of humor and plenty of reality, this one’s for you. I’d say if it comes to ‘Fifty Shades of Gray’ and this one, skip the ‘Shades’. You’ll be glad you did!

2 thoughts on “‘Friday Mornings At Nine’ by Marilyn Brant”

  1. Oh, Mel!

    Thank you so much for reading FRIDAY MORNINGS and especially for the time and thought that went into your review. I truly appreciate it. BTW, you were absolutely right to question labeling this story as a “romance” — it’s actually straight contemporary women’s fiction with some romantic elements. So, it’s pretty different from several of my other novels that are more purely romantic in nature…

    And, yeah, all three of the main characters had a lot to learn about themselves, which made them difficult to deal with at times. I kept wishing I could nudge them along…help them see their lives more clearly and more quickly ;). One of the many things I loved about what you wrote was that it was their humanity that held your interest. To me, that means a lot because it was a goal of mine — to try to show this situation of questioning one’s marriage really honestly, which doesn’t always paint the characters in the most heroic light. I do hope their growth is apparent by the end, though, and, for readers who may have experienced something similar in their own lives, that some elements of these women’s stories rang true for them.

    Stay cool, wonderful lady!! The ice cream sandwiches in the freezer are calling my name!

    1. M,

      like I said…this hit a bit to close to home…what you did in regards to your characters was made them too real and the pure rawness that comes from human contact between friends and lovers; only people that live through some of these situations will feel the pain and come through it, or die trying…or give up….Now I need to get my paws on your other books ;D

      I’m so glad it cooled down…just a bit.

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